Letters to the Editor

   Written by on September 7, 2017 at 10:50 am

Where Oh Where has my Party Gone?

 I was raised in a working-class family.  Like all the kids in my Maryland neighborhood, we had holes in the soles of our shoes, wore hand-me-down clothes, patched them when there were no replacements, returned soda bottles and delivered newspapers to help the family, and parroted the phrase that our fathers instilled in us: “The Democratic Party is the party of the people and the Republican Party is the party of the rich.”  I grew to manhood with this mind-set.  I admit I was one of those ‘Reagan Democrats’, but I remained a Democrat for a long time.  I was convinced that it was the party of the working middle-class.

At one time in Massachusetts I was even a Ward Chairman for the party.  I got an opportunity to see the party from the inside.  To me, it seemed to be a party more for party power than for governance: ‘party first, working class middle Americans second’.  Fidel Castro is credited for saying: “The middle class is like a booster rocket, to be used and discarded for the attainment of power.”

I also admit to leaning toward paternalistic socialism in college.  All things to all people is great as long as someone else is paying for it.  But little by little I listened to such early conservatives as Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Buckley.  I watched the excesses and failures of British socialism and Soviet communism.  Somewhere along the line I began to realize that a greedy, competitive free market economy did a much better job in providing my life’s goods and services than a generous, over-bearing government bureaucracy.

At this time, I’m not a Republican.  I still find the ‘establishment’ Republicans both foolish and not truly conservative.  George Bush and his Republicans were spending money as fast as the Democrats.  I claim to be an Independent, believing in those ideals of free market enlightened capitalism, promotion of a strong middle-class, promotion of a strong and effective military, a fair and progressive taxing policy, and an America first attitude, the very ideals of the Democratic Party of my youth.

My Democratic Party today seems to be a bunch of indolent party automatons pledged to do nothing for their generous salaries for life, opposing good bi-partisan governance, rallying in support of a far-left Marxist socialist agenda that is hell-bent to turn our great country into a failing European style  weakling at best or a Venezuela at worst.  It is certainly not the party of Truman, Kennedy, Tip O’Neil, and Hubert Humphrey.  The slide toward socialism seems to have come from Johnson and his Great Society.

It appears to me that those party ideals of my youth have been co-opted by Donald Trump’s Republican agenda who, like Reagan before him, was at one time a Democrat of the old mold.  Today I fully support Trump’s form of Republicanism.  It mirrors the Democratic Party of yesteryear.  While I’ll vote for it, I still can’t call myself a Republican.  My late father would never approve.

David Torrence

Meherrin, Va.

PE Educator Bullied by System

Now that the area schools are back in session we need to make sure that there is no bullying in our schools, even to the teachers.

Recently one of Prince Edward County’s educators was unfairly moved from a very important position as an educator of 900+ students to an educator of 13.

The position change was made with only 3 days notice, after the start of the school year. In my opinion the reason for the reassignment of this educator was in  retaliation of a VEA (Virginia Education Association) member,
bringing to light the plight of colleges in the resource department. They had a concern with their work schedule.

When this educator brought their concerns to the administration, it fell upon deaf ears. The former position is a state law requirement, to be filled by a specific certified individual in that field of education.

This situation sends a negative message to the staff that bullying is tolerated. It also has lowered the morale in the rank and file of Prince Edward County Elementary School.

It is my belief that the school administrators should reexamine this situation, think of the students of the school, and the skills that they are not receiving.

Thank you:
Carl Bobenrieth
Pamplin, Virginia

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